To watch the hot air balloons or see fairy chimneys, be in Goreme. It is a little town in Cappadocia where their main source of income comes from tourists. Every single inhabitable house is a hotel/ guest house/ cave hotel of some sorts. You won’t believe the sheer number of hotels in the area.
Gerome is in the Nevşehir Province and has a population of around 2,500 people. There isn’t much to do there other than sitting on a hot air balloon, signing up for day tours, soaking in a Turkish bath or riding horses/ ATVs. Well, you could hike, like what WL & I did. Tourists still flock to Cappadocia yearly, if only just to witness the rising of hundreds of hot air balloon in the first light!
Here are the most up-to-date information and everything you need to know to get to Cappadocia and witness the most magical sunrise in your life.
Tours to take in Cappadocia, Turkey
A. Hot air balloon 🎈
SGD 165/ 330 TL
20- or 28-person baskets
Pick up at around 4.30am
Includes pick up and drop off at hotel
We did with Urgup Ballooons. Their balloons are the ones with colourful rings on them, not branded with sponsor logos. My favourite kind. 😍 Most other companies charge SGD 225. Be sure to ask around. There are plenty of tour agencies, though your hotel also provides such tours.
B. Green tour
SGD 60/ 120 TL
Lunch and transport provided
Here’s where the Green Tour brings you:
1. Derinkuyu Underground City
Deepest underground city which used to inhabit those who had to remain uncovered from enemies. Ventilation shafts are ingeniously carved. Cattle can be raised in this underground city, food can be cooked, garbage can be disposed and you also excrete in there. Oh, there’s also a church and a tombstone. It amazes me how anyone can live underground. Reminds me of the movie Mockingjay, or The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
2. Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley and the volcanic landscape of the region were formed as a result of the volcanic eruptions. A river flows through its bed, making the valley deeper and forming it. The valley has a 100m depth. There are 105 churches and 10,000 rock caverns in the valley alone.
3. Selime Cathedral
The largest cathedral in Cappadocia. It has a multi-storey structure carved into rocks at a high point, thus making it an excellent viewpoint to the rest of Cappadocia. It resembles a volcano with holes carved in it and was served in the Byzantine period.
The cathedral is made up of tens of rooms connected to each other via tunnels and passages. It was mighty fun exploring around, entering little cave doors only to find unexplored terrain. One wonders how large this cathedral really is, with so many hidden passages. The cathedral dates back as early as the 8th century.
There even exists a kitchen made up of these rocks, and niches for candles and storage!
Found deep holes on the grounds.
4. Uchisar Pigeon Valley
Pigeons were important to the Turks then as they act as messengers. They were thus really well taken care of. This pigeon valley is made up of carvings of little houses to feed and house the pigeons.
En route, saw some snow-capped mountains! And that was in end May!
C. Red tour
SGD 50/ 100 TL
Lunch and transport included
The Red tour brings you to:
(or you can walk here, like we did)
2. Devrent Valley
3. Pasabag fairy chimneys
4. Urgup Fairy chimney rock formations
5. Uchisar Castle
6. Pottery Shop
7. Cavusin Old Cave Village
Experiences you must try in Cappadocia, Turkey
1. Turkish bath (hamam)
SGD 32.90/ 60 TL
2h or more (depending on how long you want to steam/ soak)
Perfect for wet weather plans. Which was exactly what happened in our circumstance.
The procedure goes like this:
Strip completely naked > Face mask > Steam > Shower > Exfoliating scrub (the Turkish way!) > Body Massage > Swim > Apple tea
So what makes Turkish bath different?
The scrub and massage are done on a marble plinth that occupies the centre of a room. At the end of the whole hamam you are treated to apple tea.
WL’s masseuse insisted on a picture with him!
TIP: Book it through an agency. It offers a better package than walking directly in! Also, negotiate!
We hiked from the centre to the red and rose valley. To be exact, a kind driver picked us up along the way to facilitate our hike without expecting anything in return heh heh. He spurred me to write about why everyone loves Turkey!
Walking exposes you to many more places that you’d never have known/ stopped for! We saw a horse shed which lets you do horse riding. There was also a pottery factory to learn/ watch pottery for free!
3. Catch the setting sun
4. Star gaze
Largest underground city.
Food – What to Eat in Cappadocia, Turkey
1. Pottery Kebab
Do yourself a favour and try this. You CANNOT leave Cappadocia without trying this! The waiter would crack the pot on the spot in front of you. The stewed kebab inside is stewed for many hours, which makes the meat extremely tender and tasty!
This is what the inside of the pottery kebab looks like.
2. Turkish Pizza
The bread that’s used to make the pizza is unique in a Turkish way. Also, bread is served as an entree no matter what you eat! I actually enjoy eating Turkish bread!
3. Turkish tea
That goes without saying.
We went to this shop D’stiny under a local’s recommendation. It is a local-frequented restaurant, which is hard to find in Cappadocia. This means the prices are not overpriced and you soak in the local atmosphere. It’s deeper down the street, but go ahead and walk all the way! It’s not too far from the bus station, so it’s still extremely accessible.
Transportation – How to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul
Istanbul-Cappadocia by BUS: SGD 32.50
Istanbul-Cappadocia by FLIGHT: SGD 37.50-52.50 by Pegasus Airlines
Airport shuttle from Cappadocia airport to hotel: SGD 12.50
Hope the above posts share some light about travelling to Cappadocia! Let me know if it has helped you! 😀
… Do you love Turkey yet?!